MiG's rejoinder to reports on Russia's MiG-29s being grounded

"Our attention has been drawn to some media reports on ‘grounding’ of MiG-29 aircraft in Russia. This is not only incorrect but misleading. The facts are that since the early 1990s, a substantial part of the Russian Air Force MiG-29 fleet has not been operated for different, primarily budgetary, reasons. In the course of scheduled inspections and maintenance of these aircraft, some defects in specific aircraft fins were ascertained in a relatively small number of aircraft. Based on this inspection, the RAC “MiG” Design Bureau has issued specific procedures for rectification which will enable these aircraft to remain fully operational through their service life. The bulk of MiG-29 type aircraft with the Russian Air Force continue in frontline service with fighter units in accordance with standard procedure.

The Indian Air Force, which has been operating MiG-29s for over 20 years, has three operational squadrons with the type. According to well informed sources, the IAF has its own system of regular maintenance and stringent technical checks and its MiG-29s continue in frontline service even as the upgradation programme is underway in Russia. Apart from this, in January 2009 RAC “MiG”, for the purpose of prompt notification of the IAF, forwarded a methodic for inspection of critical zones of the aircraft fins.

As concerns the new MiG-29K / KUB carrier-based aircraft, these have been designed and produced in full consideration of the maritime conditions in which they will be operated. These aircraft have been suitably ‘marinised’ and there is no question of any defects in the airframe structure even during the aircraft long term storage.” Indian Naval aircrew are presently converting to this type in Russia."

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